In a case related to the controversial protest that took place in downtown Madison last year, a man has been handed a six-month jail sentence for his role in the destruction of a statue honoring Hans Christian Heg, a notable Civil War hero, abolitionist, and anti-slavery activist. The incident occurred during a night of protests against police brutality in June 2020, which were sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Kelsey D. Nelson, aged 33, was not only responsible for assisting in the toppling of the Heg statue but also faced charges for looting a nearby jewelry store weeks prior. As reported by the Wisconsin State Journal, Nelson reportedly expressed remorse in court and acknowledged that his actions were not justifiable.
In addition to the jail sentence, Nelson has been ordered to pay restitution for the damages caused. This includes $5,000 to the looted jewelry store, which will be shared among two other individuals involved, and $2,500 to the state Department of Administration for the repair of the vandalized Heg statue, to be shared among four others.
While most of the Heg statue has been restored, the head was stolen and had to be recreated. Fortunately, the individual convicted of misdemeanor theft for taking the head has since returned it to the state, putting an end to this disheartening episode.